Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ramanayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding

Rest Shri Ramanayak
Location : Matunga Station
Meal : Lunch
Company: Ze wife, Pat, Sampy.

So we trekked to SRUB for a thali meal. i Was fairly excited since it would be my first and i was looking forward to eating on a banana plantain. The place was fairly crowded and we had a short wait before we could get our food (we got the unlimited thalis for 70bucks a pop, there are quite a few variations as well)

Got a seat for the four of us, the plantain was placed immediately and we asked for spoons (you can also asked to be served in a plate, traditionally you should eat with your hands, which i dont mind but not in front of so many people)

First to be served is the yogurt and the pungent, spiced, strong butter milk, this stuff could peel off paint. This was followed by salt, pickle and then a fairly average rasam(kokum i think), the sambar was also served along with and it was tasty and fiery. The veggies came together, 3 were served, cabbage (dry), potato cooked with tomato, chillis and other paste (wet) and some bean thing(this apparently changes daily) The beans were terrible, the other two were ok.

They serve puris which i dislike as well as rice. You get a papad but its not like your traditional papad but a different white colored variety. You have the choice of one sweet out of four we chose the shrikhand which was fairly sweet. The only other thing is the rice, which is kind of hard to fuck up.

Overall, the service is fairly slow but the meal is quick. What i mean is the scope of the meal is limited however the people who are supposed to serve you come by sporadically so you are always left wanting (quite the opposite at a Gujarati or Rajasthani Thali)

You also might be in a situation where you have to observe others waiting for you to finish so they can actually grab your spot. Quite distressing a feeling but if you live in Bombay long enough you get used to stuff like this (though i was born here, i dont like being watched while i eat)

The crappy service, the wait, the voyeurism would all be ok if the food was mind numbing. The truth be told, the food is far from it and i wasnt the only person who felt that way. None of the crew liked the meal. I was informed there are places around that serve the same cuisine, better in an A/C place.

Also, they use coconut oil to cook the food, which is the worst thing in the world for me. It just leaves such a terrible aftertaste, that its hard to not sort of gag.

Food 3/10 Service 4/10

Damage for 4 - 280.

image courtesy of marriedtoadesi from Flickr.


Kartik said...

1> The Wait - was the wait more than any decent restuarant you might have been to? I guess not.

2> This is authentic south india cuisine. And authentically its supposed to be eaten with hands. If you think you are a foodie take pride in what you eat and respect the authenticity of the place. this is like going to Taj Mahal and complaining for not having a pub in it.

3> spiced buttermilk? they should have served you chilli shrikhand.

4> Limited Scope? Dude this is a thali meal and not A La Carte.

5> This restuarant was built perhaps before even you dad was born to serve poor migrants a complete meal. Incidentally the food served here found so many takers it remains crowded round the year. People visit this place regularly even though they might have to wait a while. Celebrities and business clientele too are regular visitors here. I am one of them.

Thanks for mentioning about the wait. that speaks for itself. few decades of existence...more than 50% regular clientele speaks volumes about the food served here.

For records I am not a south indian nor i am related to the owners. I am a happy customer. A regular one for the great food.

Gaurav said...


My post, encapsulates my experience and of those who accompanied me. I for one can be wrong but everyone who was with me cant. It was a uniformly underwhelming experience.

I have zero problems eating with my hand, as i have continuously when i was in new york and went for Indian or even in places like Namak

Again, i found the buttermilk too spicy, i like mine served closer to Bhagatchand Tarachand, or at most chilled and flavored (ginger etc)

La Tour D'Argent was built before Napoleon and has been around since. A meal costs close to EUR 500, its fairly crowded but its not nearly as good as it was even 10 years ago. Longevity and fame means squat.

A La Carte meal will have less to it than a thai, which will always be a wider array of dishes. A thali usually is a more harmonious mix
and gives you a more complete experience than possible otherwise.

Unfortunately the food was bland and didnt gel together in any way.

I am sure celebrities visit the place but then they i am sure go to Vetro fairly often, so it means nothing to me.

A wait does not automatically make the food good, i am sure the place has fond memories for people but i didn't think it was all that.

My wife has spent a lot of time eating at Dakshin of the ITC group and she promises me a meal there will be much more authentic and will taste better.

Until then.

Gaurav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dakshin or Uttar .Ram Nayak Has Been there much before you learnt to be a foodie

Gaurav said...

@ Anonymous..

cool. your point is?

South Indian said...

Why do you go visit a South Indian restaurant if u can't handle coconut oil? Do u suppose South Indians should change their culinary habits and start cooking in mustard oil?

South Indian said...

I am reading through this one by one..

They serve puris which i dislike as well as rice. You get a papad but its not like your traditional papad but a different white colored variety.

Don't tell me you were expecting makki di roti and lijjat ka papad..

This post is too damn funny.. For you to call yourself a foodie, you should first have an open mind..

South Indian said...

For the record, I am South Indian.. have never eaten at Shri Ramanayak..

I love food cooked in coconut oil, adores rice (that too par boiled rice) and puris and the traditionally cooked white papadam.. btw white papadam is THE traditional papadam for us

Gaurav said...

Dear South Indian,

My description of the white papad was for the benefit of roughly the 49.5% of non Indian visitors who may or may not know about it.

The post was not to disparage South Indian cuisine ... if you search carefully you will find other instances of traditional south indian cooking which i loved.

I didnt like the strong taste of coconut oil, it overpowers the senses. Dakshin manages to do it with subtlety. So it was not an attack on coconut oil per se but the way it was used.

Maybe Ramanayks was having an off day because none of my companions enjoyed any of the food but i have dined with them in HYD,BGLR and eaten tradtional meals at Dakshin.

Also, i dont have a big chip on my shoulder regarding where i am from. I dont go around saying us and them when we live in the same country.... and i dont like mustard oil either for whatever it was you were trying to insinuate.

i never called myself a foodie nor have i advertised the blog as such...

South Indian said...

There is a way to criticize a particular restaurant or a cuisine.. Your post was a blatant attack on coconut oil etc. The following paragraph doesn't say anything at all about being subtle and stuff like that.. It was pure and simple - you hate coconut oil, it makes you gag...

"Also, they use coconut oil to cook the food, which is the worst thing in the world for me. It just leaves such a terrible aftertaste, that its hard to not sort of gag."

The point is if you want to enjoy other cuisines don't go expecting you will be served something that you are familiar with

1) You wanted the butter milk to be closer to Bhagatchand Tarachand

2) You wanted to the papadam to be traditional North Indian papadam, not traditional South Indian papadam

3) Coconut oil - I don't know what you wanted.. because it makes you gag unless used subtely.. Did you mean less oil? All that you had to say was they used comparitively more oil than my liking.

4) U don't enjoy pooris or rice..

If there are so many restrictions, why even go to a South Indian restaurant? This is like going to an English Restaurant and saying I want the fish and chips to taste like kebob

Though a South India, I lived a good part of my life in North India, have an insane amount of North Indian friends - be it Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, UP, Kashmir and enjoy food with all of them.. But there was something fundamentally wrong with the tone of your post. I don't see that you are a person open to admitting mistakes; you just find more and more reasons to justify yourself.. and I don't think it is worth my time to go about correcting that attitude..Adios

Gaurav said...

My Dear South Indian,

i dont think there is anything wrong with my attitude, honestly.. i am not a biased chap in anyway.

I have been to enough South Indian joints of all kinds and loved them when the food was good. When it wasnt i have said so it being the case here.

Your defence of South Indian cuisine is not warranted as it is a glorious and varied amalgam of tastes.

Your attack on me for being some sort of North Indian raider is also out of place.

As for me admitting my mistake, look around the blog, when i am wrong i admit it.

I am no authority on anything, this is a blog of my experiences,not of my expertise and its not a commercial endeavour.

You attack me on a post about a place you have never been to.

So how about this... if and when you are in town, give me a buzz. We will both go down to Ramanayaks (my treat) and well take another call?

what say?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

You are a bigoted small turd. It is how the guy felt, it is his review. Nothing anti south in it. So he does not like coconut oil. Big deal. Calm down or stay in the hole you crawled out of.

@gaurav. Don't entertain morons. Life is short.You are living it well

Gaurav said...

thanks @anonymous. kind of you to say that..

Gaurav said...

thanks @anonymous. kind of you to say that..

Gaurav said...

thanks @anonymous. kind of you to say that..

Gaurav said...

thanks @anonymous. kind of you to say that..

Blog Widget by LinkWithin